Spring Is Here! 5 Fun Ways To Raise A Nature Loving Kid

The wind told the grass

And the grass told the trees

The trees told the bushes 

And the bushes told the bees

The bees told the robin

And the robin sang out clear, 

“Wake up!

Wake up!

Spring is here!”

This post is a guest post by Jet Set Spanish

When was the last time you felt like a kid in nature? Was it when Mr.Golden Sun beamed down on you for the first time after the cold winter months? Or was it on a hike along the countryside?

Spring is here and it’s time to explore the great outdoors. Kids who have a love and connection to nature can benefit from reduced stress and enhanced cognitive function. Exploring nature with your child promotes physical activity and helps to foster a greater sense of empathy for living things (all 8.7 million species of plants and animals in existence). 

These are 5 fun ways to enjoy spring and raise a nature-loving kid  :

How to Raise a Nature Loving Kid

Raising a nature loving kid is all about getting them outdoors to explore and enjoy nature. Similar to convincing a toddler to play outside, you need to convince your kid to to note of and enjoy their surroundings.

#1. Explore Local Wildlife

Observing animals in their unique habitat teaches kids a lot. A trip to the city zoo gives them something up-close and even personal. You can plan a visit to local spots such as a pond, stream, park, aquarium, natural reserve or even a bird sanctuary.

#2. Go Gardening

The United States ranks among the top 3 gardening countries around the world. A hobby for many adults and a sensorial lesson for young children. From your window box, balcony or backyard, you can try these: 

  • Use recyclable materials (e.g. plastic bottles) as pots 
  • Plants seeds or crops such as carrots, beans and corn
  • Demonstrate digging and watering techniques; taste fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Make a garden sensory bin (Fill it with toy vegetables, flowers, toy worms, gardening tools, watering cans,soil/coffee beans). It’s a fun spring/nature introduction for toddlers and preschoolers. 

#3. Make Nature Crafts

Let kids collect bits of nature for art and craft. Doing so fosters imagination, creativity and gives a broader introduction to the wonders of nature. You can teach a toddler about nature by simply allowing them to touch and feel different things like leaves, flowers and soil. Give these a try too:

  • Rock painting
  • Nature faces, flower crowns and leaf prints
  • Play in puddles 
  • Stand barefoot on soft grass

#4. Move Outdoors!

Spending time outdoors has a dramatic impact on your child’s attentiveness and school preparedness. Outdoor schools are Scandinavian-style forest schools developed in Denmark in the 1950s. They’ve been gaining popularity across Europe, Asia, USA and Canada catering to little sprouts (preschoolers) and full blooms (grade schoolers). Many parents are enthusiastic about bringing their kids outdoors to build knowledge and maintain curiosity. These are healthy outdoor activities for spring:

  • Take short walks around the neighborhood in the afternoons 
  • Host a camp night in the backyard 
  • Go hiking or biking
  • Paint outdoors

#5. Have Fun Outside

With kids around we can never miss the days of laughter and play. This is the foundation of learning. Having fun while exploring nature is a great mood booster for the whole family. Start small and grow with these activities:

  • Teach your little one how to make a pair of binoculars from paper rolls, then play ‘I Spy’. 
  • Print a checklist and head on a scavenger hunt
  • Play Nature Bingo with notable or collectable items (twigs, pebble, flowers, flowers, leaves, bird nest, insects)
  • Make edible dirt cups (with crumbled Oreo, chocolate pudding and gummy worms) to teach about earth soil layers.
  • Visit the beach to collect seashells, find baby turtles or crabs.

Additional Ways to Get Your Kids Interested in Nature…

Reading a book aloud with your kids stimulates their imagination and fosters learning about nature. Here are a few favorites to introduce: 

Level: Baby- 1 year

On The Farm (Bright Baby Touch and Feel) by Roger Priddy is a short and delightful introduction to farm animals. The touch and feel element of the different textures is a perfect stimulation of the senses.

Level: 2- 4 years 

Lola, Lola, Extraordinary without a doubt. An infectious curiosity and love for books has Lola and her mommy visiting the library to check out gardening books. She has a growing fascination for beautiful flowers and decides to embark on growing her first garden.  (Written by Anna McQuinn)

With spring comes lots of rain – water everywhere to splish and splash, muddy puddles and worms. The book is filled with beautiful illustrations and short, rhyming texts. The playful story that unfolds is a great read on a rainy day. (Written by Jean Taft)

Look out now, this story is about to get hilarious. It takes a spin on a traditional American tale about a wide-mouthed frog in Okefenokee Swamp. He’s curious about the eating habits of his neighbors but is in for a hilarious surprise. This splendid and addictive pop-up is written by Keith Faulkner.

If you happen to catch a glimpse of the beautiful butterflies or hear the close buzzing of the bee, may you remember nature.The grandeur and  array of stunning sights will forever capture our imaginations and evoke feelings of awe and wonder. By consistently creating positive experiences to learn, explore and grow, your little ones will surely become nature lovers.

Stay curious! Have fun exploring!

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